6th of December is independece day of Finland. This day I prepare always something very finnish, either traditional way or with modern twist. This year I made Karelian stew (Karjalanpaisti), which is one of the most known finnish dishes. There are some variation e.g. with meat in it, but anyone can do it as they like. My version has pork and beef, carrot, onion, beer and a bit of water. For seasoning I use only bay leaves, allspice and salt. Most of the people doesn't use beer, but I love the flavor it gives to the stew.
Karelian stew (Karjalanpaisti)
For 4-6 persons
450 g pork stew meat (e.g. neck or shoulder)
450 g beef stew meat
1 tbsp butter
10 whole grains of allspice
1-2 bay leaves
330 ml lager beer
water if needed
salt to taste
Peel the onions and carrots. Chop them roughly. Cut the meat into cubes (3x3 cm). Heat the skillet with butter. Temperature is right when butter mutes, when it doesn't sizzle anymore. Brown all meat and put the intoa cooking pot and add the coarsely chopped onions and carrots. Pour ber into a pot, season with bay leaves, salt and
allspice. Add enough water to almost cover the meat.
Cook with a cover at 100-125 °C, for 3-4 hours.
Serve with mashed or cooked potatoes.